For a long time, women’s running shoes were just smaller sizes of men’s running shoes. But studies about the structural differences between men and women have resulted in shoes that built and designed specifically for women.

It was found that women have different lower-body biomechanics and gait patterns than men, as well as a different heel to forefoot ratio. What that meant was women have narrower heels in relation to their forefoot. So if they wore shoes that were their size, but made for men, they would end up with their heel having too much wiggle room in the shoe, thereby causing it to slip and causing injuries.

Since women also tend to be smaller than men, they need less cushioning for their shoes. If they wore shoes designed for men, the cushioning would be way more than what’s needed. Keeping this in mind, shoes designed for women lead to better performance as well as lesser injuries. Here are our picks of the best running shoes for women:

Reebok One Cushion 2.0

Th One Cushion series is known to be a great training and race-day shoe, and renowned for its supreme comfort. Its decoupled heel isolates shock absorption, while a stable lateral arch maximizes ground contact. At the same time a first metatarsal head release zone helps control pronation and improves toe-off position.

North Face Single Track Hayasa

Suited for trail runs, this North Face pair combines durability and comfort. These ultralight running shoes were designed in collaboration with world-renowned athlete and ultra-runner Tsuyoshi Kaburaki. A neutral, low-profile midsole allows a natural stride turnover.

Nike Flyknit Lunar

The latest gen of Flyknit Lunar shoes are designed for better speed and are extremely light in weight. The Flyknit Lunar remains one of the top selling shoes in the world and this pair offers ultra-responsive cushioning and a lightweight, breathable upper mesh suited for fast-paced training. A rubber sole means there will be great traction and better grip on most running surfaces.

Adidas Springblade

The Springblade catches your eye with its radical design that’s centred around 16 polymer blades, each of which are claimed to harness and release the maximum amount of energy in every step. Adidas claims the blades respond instantly to any surface, and perform consistently in all weathers. In addition, they are said to generate powerful forward movement as you push-off.

Asics GT 1000

A slew of Asics proprietary technology guides the latest generation of the famed GT 1000 series. The GT 1000 3 has an Impact Guidance System with a SpEVA midsole that adds a protective layer and cushioning. Other high-end technology involved is the DuoMax Support System, a dual density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability, while the Guidance Trusstic should be helpful for overpronators. In addition, there’s a GEL cushioning system that reduces shock during impact and toe-off phases.

Main image: APL

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